Utah Governor Bows to Bears Ears Pressure, Set to Meet With Outdoor Industry Leaders

After Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution calling for President Trump to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument, Patagonia, Arc'teryx, and Polartec all announced they would be pulling out of the Outdoor Retailer (OR) show, hosted by Salt Lake City twice a year. The show runners then announced that they were looking for another host city, one that was more in line with the values of OR. Herbert has now asked the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the nonprofit that represents outdoor companies, to meet with him to listen "to their concerns, hopefully correcting any misinformation, misunderstandings, and see if we can’t find a way to come together," he told reporters today.

As we reported earlier, the Outdoor Retailer show brings in $50 million to Utah, and dozens of outdoor companies — including Black Diamond, Petzl, Gregory Mountain Products, and others — are based in the state. 

“Political officials neglect the critical role public lands play in boosting Utah’s economy, making the state a great place to live, work, and play," wrote Peter Metcalf in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. Yvon Chouinard followed with his own piece, “The Outdoor Industry Loves Utah; Does Utah Love the Outdoor Industry?” and shortly after, his company pulled out of the show.

On Thursday, OIA is looking for the governor to respond to such criticism. Below is a full press release from the OIA. 

For an in-depth look into how outdoor companies are taking a stand for public lands, check out our current feature here.

OIA standing with outdoor leaders, speaking with Governor Herbert on Thursday

The Outdoor Industry Association is united with our member companies in opposition to the recent resolutions passed by the Utah legislature concerning monuments in Utah. On Thursday, February 16, Amy Roberts, OIA executive director, along with key leaders from outdoor industry companies will be speaking with Governor Herbert.

In the meeting, OIA and industry leaders will ask the governor to stop all efforts to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument through executive order, to stop efforts to gut the Antiquities Act and to support keeping our public lands public for all Americans to enjoy.

They will ask that Utah choose to embrace and actively support the outdoor recreation economy’s role in the state and find ways to grow an economy that is generating more than $12 billion in consumer spending, supporting 122,000 jobs in the state, paying $3.6 billion in salaries and wages and contributing more than $856 million in state and local tax revenue. Utah is at a crossroads. Political leadership has the opportunity now to change course and grow the outdoor recreation economy to the benefit of all Utah citizens.

If they are unable to reach agreement, OIA will continue to work with Outdoor Retailer to move the show as soon as possible.